Two guys climb into a boxing ring and throw lots of punches until either succumbs to the other.
However, at the highest levels of the sport, there is so much more that goes into a fight than just the punches being thrown.
They say that 80 per cent of boxing is mental.
The rest consists of incredibly arduous training that fighters put themselves through to ensure that they are in peak condition on fight night.
A million things at once are running through each boxer’s mind whenever he steps into the ring.
For Terry Nickolas, his motivation is making his family, partner and country proud. He will do ‘whatever it takes’, including packing up and leaving behind family and friends to pursue a world title.
“I always remind myself that hard work will always pay off and that all the sacrifices and struggles will be worth it. I remind myself of this and it never fails to give me that extra motivation” Terry told Greek City Times.
Greek City Time’s lifestyle journalist Despina Karpathiou sat down virtually with Terry to break down the highly competitive sport of boxing, what boxing means to him, being a proud Greek and a passionate advocate for his sport.
Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed, Terry! Tell our GCT readers a little about yourself?
My name is Eleftherios (Terry) Nickolas and I’m a 28-year-old Greek Australian professional boxer.
I live and breathe boxing, which got me achieving one of my major goals as an amateur boxer.
Representing my country Australia at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. I love spending time with my partner and family when I’m not in the gym.
What part of Greece are you from and what is your favourite Greek food?
I’m a second-generation Greek Australian.
My grandparents were all born overseas, 3 in Greece and 1 in Cyprus. They were from Elassona, Palios Panteleiomonas, Androniani, Evia And Limassol, Cyprus.
I’m proud to be an Australian but it’s an honour to have Greek blood.
Something that gives me the extra motivation for me to succeed as I know what my grandparents went through to give us a better life.
I have many favourite Greek foods but I must say one of my favourites is a freshly cooked pastitsio. I will always treat myself to a slice or 2 when I’ve finished a camp.
What first sparked your passion for boxing?
I always had an interest in boxing as 2 of my mum’s cousins were both boxers.
At age 16, I became quite rebellious and my parents thought it was a good idea to send me into the boxing gym with my old trainer, Paul Panos.
At that time I was also playing soccer. it wasn’t long before I quit soccer to give my full attention to boxing, as I fell in love with the craft.
A year after my first session I had my first bout, 12 years later I’ve had over 120 amateur fights, multiple state titles, an elite Australian title, 2018 commonwealth games representative and now a profession boxer with a 1-0 record.
Talk us through the process of how you prepare for a boxing match? How do you motivate yourself and prepare mentally?
8-10 weeks before a fight I’ll begin a period what we call fight camp. In these weeks we will train at least twice a day putting our body through hell day in day out preparing us for the fight night.
The training will consist of running, sprints, weight training, conditioning, pad work, bag work, sparring and loads of tactical work with my coach.
We have recovery sessions, massages, physio and anything else we need to keep our body and mind 100 per cent so we can give our all during each session.
After a fight camp is complete, all the hard work is done and we’ve left no stone unturned I know my body is in supreme condition and knowing I’ve done all the hard work my mind is 100 per cent confident in my abilities.
You’re originally from Adelaide, then you moved to Sydney to train, what was behind this decision?
Moving to Sydney was the best decision I could have made for my career as a professional boxer.
It wasn’t easy leaving my family and friends but it was the sacrifice I had to make to try and achieve my dream of becoming a future world champion.
I decided moving to Sydney would be best for me so I can be under the close watchful eyes of my managers Jim and George Kamboso s who then teamed me up with my coach Mick Akkawy from Just Boxing.
Mick is a master in the boxing world and it’s been a pleasure training under him. I believe he will get me to my world title fight.
What has been the highlight of your boxing career so far?
I actually have a couple of great highlights of my career.
I think the first would be winning the 2017 Australian Title which qualified me for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Winning that title was something I always dreamt of doing and to achieve that was surreal.
All the years of lessons, hard work and sacrifice paid off.
Representing my country at the Commonwealth Games was another great highlight, something I’ll never forget and always carry with me and another massive highlight was when I transferred from amateur to professional and moved my camp to Sydney under Mick Akkawy.
This has just brought me to a whole new level as a person and as a boxer.
What do you think sets you apart from other boxers/athletes?
The difference is I’m all in with this sport.
I’m willing to do whatever it takes to be the best.
Packing up, leaving my partner, my family and my friends all behind in Adelaide has made me a hungrier more focused fighter. They all give me extra motivation and the will to succeed in this game.
Talk about your professional boxing debut in Canberra. Last year was especially tough due to Covid-19, how did you feel about your extraordinary win in under 30 seconds?
Last year was definitely a challenging year for us all, Covid hit us all unexpectedly which was very tough.
Starting off the year with a great camp ready for my first pro fight which then got cancelled a week prior due to Covid wasn’t great.
We were 1 week away when it got called off which was out of everyone’s control.
I think this happening and me not fighting gave me a whole extra bit of motivation.
It made me work harder and it got me better prepared for my fight I was to have later on in the year in December.
Having a great coach and team definitely played a massive part as we all kept active during it all, training daily and sometimes twice a day.
The hard work never stopped all year which definitely showed and paid off on my debut with my 30second KO. It was a great statement and I’m ready to shake up the whole division.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I see myself as a successful professional boxer still working hard day in day out to fulfil my dream of becoming a world champion and of course outside the sport I’ll still be working on myself and striving to be the best person I can be as well as an outstanding athlete.
Greek City Times wishes Terry every success in his future endeavours and will follow him all the way to a World Title and beyond!
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